Lake Charles Still Rebuilding One Year After Hurricane Laura
I woke up this morning with a bit of anxiety as we are potentially going to have to deal with another hurricane coming towards Louisiana. Today August 27, marks the 1 year anniversary of the aftermath of Hurricane Laura hitting Lake Charles. I remember the day like it was yesterday. The group here was prepared to do our duty as media and make sure that the listeners would be informed with all of the latest information on the hurricane. The plan was to broadcast live from the studios and get the plan for each one of us to take shifts on delivering the latest hurricane updates pertaining to road conditions and potential casualties.
Hurricane Laura had a different plan as we all had to make a run for safer grounds. Hurricane Laura hit the ground as a Category 4 and the city simply was not the same after that. Now we are watching another disturbance called Ida and honestly, we don't know how to feel. It took us a few days to really get things back to normal even here at our studios. Some of our radio stations were off the air, while others came back but weren't at full power. I will never forget the picture I saw of the KPLC studios, the building looked as it is was totaled and for a few months, their staff was broadcasting from Baton Rouge. Our facility had taken some moderate damage to our roof which we later found out was more than we initially thought. We had everyone coming through with information from the local state troopers to organizations bringing us food as the guys were here broadcasting around the clock.
We lost so many people who decided that maybe they needed a change of location. There were others who simply didn't have the money to return and some lost everything. Many people locally had insurance woes or had to deal with corrupt contractors who were taking advantage of the wonderful people here in Lake Charles. When I think about where we are today one year since Hurricane Laura decimated our city. I think about the great people who have come together to really support the local businesses who were able to return. I also think about how we still have so far to go before we can honestly say that we are back to normal. Many establishments that once were busy every day of the week are now sitting on bricks or polluted property of what once was. It's easy to be on the outside looking in and saying how things should be back to normal. However, for the people who live this every day, that is not the case.
The city is not back to normal. The people here deal with PTSD from continuous days of rain or the threat of bad weather. We are now facing a possible dilemma again this weekend with Hurricane Ida forming in the gulf. We all need a break and we need time to heal and repair what once was our livelihood. There is no other place with more resilient people who are willing to help anyone than here in Lake Charles. For me, I hope that we will get a pass this year and honestly for years to come. Going through another devastating storm with my family is just not something that I believe that we can endure at this moment. We are Lake Charles strong, but we are also Lake Charles tired. So I can in some type of unceremoniously weird way, Happy anniversary to us.